Izzy's Fire: Finding Humanity in the Holocaust

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Overview

This book focuses mainly on the Ipson family's life in hiding during the Holocaust in a Lithuanian farmer's potato field. It depicts how 13 members of five Jewish families survived the Holocaust through their own ingenuity and the generosity of a poor Catholic farm family. All 13 Jews ended up living in a 9'x12'x4' underground hole as World War II raged around them. Some lived underground for about seven months before being liberated by the Russian Army.

Dr. Michael Berenbaum, ...

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Overview

This book focuses mainly on the Ipson family's life in hiding during the Holocaust in a Lithuanian farmer's potato field. It depicts how 13 members of five Jewish families survived the Holocaust through their own ingenuity and the generosity of a poor Catholic farm family. All 13 Jews ended up living in a 9'x12'x4' underground hole as World War II raged around them. Some lived underground for about seven months before being liberated by the Russian Army.

Dr. Michael Berenbaum, project director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (1988-1993) and author of The World Must Know: The History of the Holocaust as Told in the United States Memorial Holocaust Museum, says, "Izzy's Fire is filled with the passion of one woman determined to do justice to the story of another woman who lived in hiding throughout the war years. The war has soul. One feels the intensity of the struggle to survive. One senses the decency of those who were ready to rescue and the evil that haunted a mother and father and their young child in the dangerous world they lived. Nancy Wright Beasley has told a powerful story with dignified restraint. She has given voice to an underreported side of the Holocaust - life in hiding."

Adriana Trigiani, author of the best selling Big Stone Gap trilogy, offered early praise for the book. According to Trigiani, "Nancy is a passionate, dedicated writer who has written a searing story, sure to capture readers with Izzy's Fire. She proves herself to be a storyteller who uses firsthand accounts and research with equal resolve."

Beasley draws from personal interviews, research and numerous memoirs, including extensive memoirs from Israel "Izzy" Ipson, who helped his family escape from Kovno Ghetto, one of the most notorious killing fields for Jews in Lithuania. The Ipps, as they were known then, relocated to Richmond following their liberation and later changed their name to Ipson. The story has been re-created at the Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond, Virginia.

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What People Are Saying

Tom Graves
"The author has done a masterful job of portraying a gripping saga of one family's courageous fight for survival in the midst of the most horrendous event in human history. The story plumbs the depths of horror and despair of the Holocaust, yet, through it all, speaks strongly of hope and faith...We’re talking the stuff of miracles here, and Nancy Wright Beasley has captured it well."
President, Baptist Theological Seminary of Richmond Member, Board of Directors, Virginia Holocaust Museum
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556182082
  • Publisher: Brunswick Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 1/15/2005
  • Pages: 289
  • Product dimensions: 5.78 (w) x 9.06 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Escaping Kono Ghetto - 1943
Chapter 2: Life in Lithuania - 1938
Chapter 3: Ominous Signs Forewarn
Chapter 4: Kovno Ghetto Formed - 1941
Chapter 5: Learning to Survive
Chapter 6: Riga Selection
Chapter 7: Planning the Escape - 1943
Chapter 8: Ride to Freedom
Chapter 9: The Maline
Chapter 10: Life Underground
Chapter 11: Raja's Story
Chapter 12: Jacob's Story
Chapter 13: Liberation at Last - 1944
Chapter 14: Izzy's Returns to Kovno
Chapter 15: Leaving Safety
Chapter 16: Starting Life Anew
Chapter 17: Escape Across Borders - 1945
Chapter 18: Meeting Mr. Green
Chapter 19: Life in America - 1947-96
Chapter 20: A Wayward Letter Arrives
Chapter 21: Edna's Apprehension
Chapter 22: The Reunion - 1998
Chapter 23: Yom HaShoah
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